Key Artists: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro
Influences: English Landscape painters - Joseph Turner and Constable, French painters - Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and Edouard Manet.
Impressionism began in France in the mid 1800s. The Impressionists were not very popular because they had a different approach to painting. At this time many artists painted in a very traditional way that involved spending hours in a studio, painstakingly creating paintings that were extremely detailed. These paintings were sometimes of people or landscapes or historical events.
The Impressionists often painted out of doors and wanted to show the more immediate effect of light and colour at particular times of the day. Their works are sometimes described as 'captured moments' and are characterized by short quick brushstrokes of colour which, when viewed up close looks quite messy and unreal. If you step back from and Impressionist painting, however, the colours are blended together by our eyes and we are able to see the painter's subject which often showed colourful landscapes, sunlight on water as well as people engaged in outdoor activities and enjoyment.
Paintings by Impressionist artists have become some of the most popular artworks of all time. This is probably due to the fact that their subjects were usually pleasing and uncomplicated.
The Seine at Chatou
Date Painted: 1881
Size: 74 x 93cm
Materials used: Oil on Canvas
Current Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Gift of Arthur Brewster Emmons)